New creative space opening in City’s downtown

  • Jul. 2, 2014 4:19 p.m.

A new creative space in downtown Red Deer will be a welcome spot for local artists, filmmakers, editors and musicians – to name just a few who will be able to utilize the facility.

An early look at The Space, located right across the street from Berry Architecture in the old McAuley Building at 5305 – 50 Ave., was held last week.

The project has resulted from a collaboration between Unveil Studios and Melodious Design Recording Company, and the plan is to be operational by July 1st.

The Space houses a live recording room, an isolation booth and editing suites for film and audio. There are so many possibilities for audio and film production in this completely sound-safe environment, said Andrew Kooman of Unveil Studios and a popular local author in his own right. He runs Unveil Studios along with his brother Matt and Dan.

“Part of this came out of our own need for physical space for production work, and to be able to have controlled lighting and controlled sound,” he explains of the idea to develop The Space, which covers about 1,600 sq. ft.

“Those were big needs. We also developed a friendship with Heath and Shauna West who are audio engineers (and operate the Melodious Design Recording Company). And we started to talk about these possibilities and that’s where The Space was born.”

The plan now is that Unveil Studios and Melodious Design will share a ‘live room’ which is central to The Space. “That’s the place where we can record, we can film – it’s sound-controlled and really hi-tech. Then on each side of the live room we have editing suites.

“So it all came out of that partnership, and there’s really nothing like it for us – we just thought, ‘Why not create this ourselves?’ People can also do post-production audio work for film and really any kind of audio work. Plus television interviews, those kinds of things.

“Artists need a place to create from, and one thing we also are excited about is that so often, creativity and projects come out of collaboration and being around artists, too. So we expect some cool collaborations to come out of here.

“Also, a lot of people have to leave Central Alberta and go to Edmonton or Calgary – or other bigger centres to record, and now we can offer a very professional experience and bring people here.”

A grand opening is slated for the fall, he said.

Meanwhile, Andrew has brought many projects to the public over the past years, perhaps most significantly that being his play She Has A Name which continues to garner acclaim. A theatre company in Sacramento, California recently produced the work. The play, which is about the battle against human trafficking, provides poignant insight into the issue in South East Asia.

“What’s sweet is that it’s kind of taking on a life of its own. It still has traction and it’s resonating.

“It’s thrilling to see others engaged in the work.”

Last fall, he was also commissioned to write three monologues for the Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre’s 25th anniversary gala. Plans for further performances of the pieces are in the works as well.

He’s also working on another book in the same vein as his 2011 release Disappointed by Hope: 30 Days of Prayer. That book featured stories by Kooman chronicling the experiences of migrants and refugees in Malaysia. Although the stories were fictionalized for confidentiality reasons, they are based on actual accounts, case studies and interviews of refugees.

“By the end of this month, I’m hoping to have the final edit on that.”

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